‘Mon­soon slightly late, may be be­low nor­mal’

Land­fall likely on June 4 in Ker­ala; East, Cen­tral In­dia at drought risk

Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Front page - Jayashree Nandi n [email protected]

Pri­vate weather fore­caster Skymet Weather has re­it­er­ated its pre­dic­tion of a be­lownor­mal mon­soon this year, and given the sig­nif­i­cance of this at a time when farm­ers in many parts of the coun­try are al­ready in the grip of an agrar­ian cri­sis, all eyes are now on the In­dia Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Depart­ment or IMD which will re­lease its own up­date later this month.

On Tues­day, Skymet said the mon­soon will set in over Ker­ala on June 4 and that mon­soon rains will be be­low nor­mal at 93% of the Long pe­riod Av­er­age or LPA.

It added that all four re­gions of the coun­try will see be­low nor­mal rains, es­pe­cially in June and the first half of July.

Skymet Weather’s mon­soon forecast may have se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions for agri­cul­ture be­cause pre-mon­soon rain­fall was 21% be­low the long pe­riod av­er­age of 82.5mm be­tween March 1 and May 8, ac­cord­ing to IMD.

North-west In­dia with a deficit of 37% and penin­su­lar In­dia with a deficit of 39% are the worst af­fected. The soil is dry in these re­gions, and a be­low nor­mal mon­soon is likely to make it even more dif­fi­cult for farm­ers who will be­gin sow­ing of kharif (or mon­soon) crops in June.

The mon­soon usu­ally sets in over Ker­ala by June 1. Last year, it did so on May 29. The mon­soon then ad­vances north­wards, usu­ally in surges, and cov­ers the en­tire coun­try around July 15. In 2017, the mon­soon set in over Ker­ala on May 30. IMD is likely to an­nounce its own mon­soon on­set date on Wednesday.

On April 3, Skymet Weather

forecast be­low-nor­mal mon­soon, but on April 15, IMD forecast that there would be a “near nor­mal” mon­soon at 96% of LPA.

M Ra­jee­van, sec­re­tary, min­istry of earth sciences (MoES), said at the time that the depart­ment ex­pects a good distri­bu­tion of rain­fall across the coun­try.

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